Weight Loss Shows Inspire And Frustrate Me

My new favorite weight loss show - Heavy. It takes an honest approach to losing weight. I just wish it spent a little more time on nutrition.

I’m done watching Heavy. Now I need a new show to help give me that little push to keep going. Will My 600-LB Life or The Biggest Loser give me my fix?

I just finished watching the first season of Heavy and now I’m looking for another show to get me pumped about eating right and working out. I’ve got two options – My 600-lb Life and The Biggest Loser.

Like Heavy, My 600-lb Life is shot documentary-style. It focuses on people who undergone bypass surgery to lose weight. The camera crew follows them around for 7 years.

I’m curious to see if this one gets more into the nutrition side of things. If you spend 7 years following a person dealing with obesity, you think what that person eats might be of significance.

While I enjoy the documentary format of a show like Heavy, I can’t help but think people who’ve never been fat make these shows.  They almost never focus on nutrition.

Note to these TV shows producers: What you eat is 80% of the battle.

If food or nutrition isn’t interesting visually, how the heck do you explain the success of The Food Network?  Not one show, but a whole frickin’ network dedicated to food. Hell, even Hungry Girl has a healthy eating show on The Food Network.

As for The Biggest Loser I’ve never seen it, but I do own the yoga DVD.

I’m a little skeptical about the show. I know it’s a contest with a huge marketing machine behind it (hence my DVD!). That’s about it. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a marketer, so I like the idea of a huge marketing machine.  But this topic hits close to home so I’m leery of a weight loss competition via reality TV.

I watch shows like Heavy not to see the train wreck that is people’s lives, but to feel inspired. Also, I actually want to learn something. I’m just not sure what I’ll get out of watching The Biggest Loser. But I think I need to watch it at least once before writing it off.

Weighing In On Heavy

My new favorite weight loss show - Heavy. It takes an honest approach to losing weight. I just wish it spent a little more time on nutrition.

My new favorite weight loss show – Heavy. It takes an honest approach to losing weight. I just wish it spent a little more time on nutrition.

Yesterday I stumbled across Heavy, a show weigh loss reality show. I’m a little late to the party – the show aired in 2011-12 and season 2 starts in 2014. But better late than never.

Each episode follows 2 people in a 6-month weight loss program. They work with trainers and dietitians to change their habits and lose weight. While considered a reality show, in fact, it feels more like a documentary. No one is voted off. It’s not scripted. You get to know these people, warts and all.

This show cuts close to the bone. At times it’s like someone is holding a mirror up to me, making the show difficult to watch. But that’s why I love it too.

Some weeks you lose weight and others you gain. Sometimes life kicks your butt and you binge. Heavy captures this in spades. You really feel for these people, even if you disagree with some of their choices.

Weight loss is awesome, but hard as hell.  Heavy takes an honest look at the journey.  Sure there’s help in the form of trainers, but the individuals’ success or failure is all their own. And the show pulls no punches with the health problems these people face  – diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, skin disorders.

I wish they’d explore the nutrition side more. Food and nutrition are way more important than exercise when it comes to weight loss. If you don’t get the nutrition right, no amount of exercising helps.

Also front and center is the “calories-in, calories-out” myth, which, if you read this blog, you know I think is BS.

If I owned a weight loss spa, I’d give all of my guests a copy of Why We Get Fat and hire only nutritionists who understand it’s not about how much we eat, but what we eat (in fact, what we eat can trigger us to overeat). But that doesn’t make good TV.

Criticisms aside, I really love the show. As a big bonus, after watching the first episode online, I ended my afternoon with 30 minutes of yoga followed by a 15-minute walk.

Yes, the show is a big motivator.